Types of Ancient Humans Who Ever Lived in Indonesia

Long before we were born and even long before the Majapahit kingdom was established, the earth of Indonesia was ruled by various types of ancient humans. They literally started life from scratch. From it also culture, way of life, and various tools were found.

Early human fossils in Indonesia were discovered in 1889 by Van Rietschoten. At that time, the fossil was identified as Homo Wajakensis. After that, the search and research on ancient human fossils continued.

Well, want to know what fossils and types of ancient humans used to live in Indonesia? Here are some of them! You still remember, don’t you?

1. Meganthropus


Maybe not foreign to your ears, the oldest ancient human living in Indonesia is Meganthropus. Its fossils were found in 1936-1941 in Sangiran, Central Java.

They have physical characteristics that are quite different from other early humans on this list. From the fossils, here are the body features of Meganthropus that archaeologists predict:

1. Forehead protruding forward;
2. Thick cheekbones;
3. Strong jaws with large molars;
4. Does not have a chin bone;
5. The back of the skull is protruding and slightly tapered;
6. Height is predicted to reach 2.5 meters.

Not only the oldest, but Meganthropus is also the largest ancient human in Indonesia. It is estimated that they lived about 2.5 million to 1.25 million years ago.

2. Pithecanthropus Mojokerto

Pithecanthropus Mojokerto

Pithecanthropus Mojokertensis literally means “ape man from Mojokerto”. Yes, this is because the ancient human fossil was found in Mojokerto, East Java, in Perning Village to be exact. The fossil was discovered by GHR von Koenigswald in 1936.

When viewed from the fossils, here are some physical characteristics of Pithecanthropus Mojokertensis :

1. Well built with a height of 165-180 cm;
2. Has a strong chewing apparatus;
3. Brain volume is estimated at 750-1300 cc;
4. The forehead bone is thick, prominent, and wide;
5. Has no chin bone;
6. There is a prominent bone in the back of the skull.

3. Pithecanthropus Erectus(Java Man)

Pithecanthropus Erectus

One of the most familiar ancient humans in the community, Pithecanthropus Erectus(Java Man) means “ape-man who walks upright”. Its fossil was found in the Bengawan Solo River valley, Central Java by Eugene Dubois in 1891.

Experts predict that these early humans became the earliest species of modern human evolution. This is because they have physical characteristics similar to ours, namely:

1. The jaw protrudes forward;
2. The brain volume is estimated at 750-900 cc;
3. Wide nose and strong neck;
4. There is a bulge on the forehead;
5. The body is smaller than Pithecanthropus Mojokertensis with a height of 160-180 cm;
6. Has no chin.

4. Pithecanthropus Soloensis

Pithecanthropus Soloensis Pithecanthropus Soloensis

Still from the same group, there is also an ancient human type Pithecanthropus Soloensis. The name means “ape man from Solo”. The inventors are GHR von Koenigswald, Ter Haar, and Oppenoorth. Based on the fossils found, the following are the physical characteristics of Pithecanthropus Soloensis:

1. The skull bones are oval, thick, and dense;
2. The eye socket is very long.

5. Homo Wajakensis

Homo Wajakensis

Next, we enter the third category of early humans, namely Homo. The term means “man” without the “ape” behind it.

The first is Homo Wajakensis, a human from Wajak, Tulungagung, East Java. This is the first fossil found in Indonesia, namely in 1889 by Van Rietschoten. Following are its physical characteristics:

1. Body height is estimated at 173 cm;
2. The jaws are dense with large teeth;
3. The brain volume is estimated at 1,630 cc;
4. Flat and broad-faced;
5. It has the skull, upper jaw, lower jaw, femur, and forehead.

6. Homo floresiensis(Flores man)

Flores man

Unlike other fossils centered on the island of Java, Homo floresiensis(Flores man) was found on the island of Flores, East Nusa Tenggara. The discovery of this fossil in 2003 was quite surprising to outside archaeologists. Why is that?

Homo floresiensis(Flores man) is buried in a limestone cave called Liang Bua. The site is estimated to be 60,000 to 100,000 years old. Not only that, experts also suspect that they are the real ancestors of Indonesians.

Homo floresiensis(Flores man) has unique physical characteristics such as the following:

1. The average height is only 105 cm;
2. Has a small, non-protruding forehead;
3. The skull is small while the jawbone is protruding.

Because of his short body, this ancient man was nicknamed the hobbit man. It is possible that these characteristics are possessed because they live in caves. Allegedly, Homo floresiensis lived between 50 thousand and 190 thousand years ago.

7. Homo Soloensis

Homo Soloensis

Just like Pithecanthropus Soloensis, Homo Soloensis was discovered by a trio of archaeologists consisting of Ter Haar, Oppenoorth, and GHR von Koenigswald. The fossil is buried in the Sangiran area, Central Java and is estimated to have lived about 300 thousand to 900 thousand years ago.

The following are the physical characteristics of Homo Soloensis when viewed from the fossils found:

1. Height can reach 210 cm;
2. The brain volume is about 1000-1300 cc;
3. The facial structure is not similar to Pithecanthropus.

8. A wise man

Types of Ancient Humans Who Ever Lived in Indonesia

Finally, there is Homo Sapiens which means “intelligent or wise man”. The nickname was given not without reason. Homo sapiens is thought to be more evolutionary than other types of early humans.

They are tough, adaptable, and can travel quickly. This shows that his thinking ability has developed rapidly. However, they have weaker bodies than the others. The following are the physical characteristics of Homo Sapiens:

1. Brain volume reaches 1,350-1450 cc;
2. Body height ranges from 130-210 cm
3. Body weight ranges from 30-150 kg;

Those are eight fossils and types of ancient humans that have been traced successfully in Indonesia. In general, they are not found alone, but along with tools and various works of his life, you know. If you are curious about his form, visit the ancient human museums scattered in various regions!

Leave a Comment